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Rev. Billy Graham Has Pneumonia

December 5, 1997

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The Rev. Billy Graham has pneumonia and is responding well to treatment, his doctor said Thursday.

The 79-year-old evangelist was hospitalized Wednesday night for treatment of the respiratory infection, which he developed during a Caribbean vacation.

``He’s responding nicely. I don’t think there will be any complications,″ said Dr. Charles Burger, pulmonary medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville, who is treating Graham.

He is listed in fair condition at St. Luke’s Hospital, which is affiliated with the Mayo-Clinic Jacksonville, a satellite clinic of the famed Rochester, Minn. clinic.

Physicians ran a series of tests on Graham Thursday which indicate the infection in his right lung is clearing, his fever has subsided and his white blood count is back to normal.

``I’m pleased how he is doing medically,″ Burger said at an afternoon news conference. Burger refused to speculate on how many days Graham will be in the hospital, saying it would be a day-to-day decision on his progress.

``If he continues to improve, it will only be a few days,″ Burger said.

He said Graham’s Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder, was not related to his illness and will have no effect on the treatment of his pneumonia. Graham is being treated with antibiotics.

Graham is conscious and alert and has been walking around in his hospital room, where pots of flowers and cards from well-wishers have poured in.

When he developed a lung infection, his doctor told him to go to the nearest Mayo facility. Graham has been a patient of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota since the early 1950s and dedicated the local Mayo Clinic when it opened in 1986. Graham founded his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis in 1950.

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